The quartet of franchises remaining in the MLB postseason cruised into the league championship round.The Houston Astros Tug McGraw Jersey
, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers lost a combined two games in the ALDS and NLDS to move one step closer to the World Series.Thanks to their dominant performances, each of the four teams enter the ALCS and NLCS with plenty of rest.The Dodgers and Brewers kick off the second round of the postseason Friday, while Houston and Boston begin their series at Fenway Park Saturday night. MLB Playoff ScheduleFriday, October 12NLCS Game 1:Los Angeles at Milwaukee (8:09 p.m., FS1) Saturday, October 13NLCS Game 2:Los Angeles at Milwaukee (4:09 p.m., Fox)ALCS Game 1:Houston at Boston (8:09 p.m., TBS) Sunday, October 14ALCS Game 2:Houston at Boston (7:09 p.m., TBS) Monday, October 15NLCS Game 3:Milwaukee at Los Angeles (Time TBD. Fox or FS1) Tuesday, October 16NLCS Game 4:Milwaukee at Los Angeles (Time TBD, Fox or FS1)ALCS Game 3:Boston at Houston (Time TBD, TBS) Wednesday, October 17NLCS Game 5:Milwaukee at Los Angeles (Time TBD, Fox or FS1)ALCS Game 4:Boston at Houston (Time TBD Drew Hutchison Jersey
, TBS) Thursday, October 18ALCS Game 5:Boston at Houston (Time TBD, TBS) Friday, October 19NLCS Game 6:Los Angeles at Milwaukee (Time TBD, Fox or FS1) Saturday, October 20NLCS Game 7:Los Angeles at Milwaukee (Time TBD, Fox or FS1)ALCS Game 6:Houston at Boston (Time TBD, TBS) Sunday, October 21ALCS Game 7:Houston at Boston (Time TBD, TBS)Games can be live-streamed on Watch TBS and Fox Sports Go. Bracket PredictionsMilwaukee over Los Angeles in 6It's hard to pick against the Milwaukee Brewers with the way they've been hitting the baseball.The Brewers hit four home runs and scored 13 runs in their dominant NLDS victory over the Colorado Rockies.Christian Yelich continued to make an impact at the plate, as he hit one home run and drove in two runs, and he also scored four runs over three games.Ryan Braun, Mike Moustakas and unexpected offensive threat Erik Kratz recorded the most hits on the Milwaukee roster in the NLDS, and the well-rounded lineup is expected to thrive in the NLCS.Joe Mahoney/Associated PressWhile the lineup received plenty of praise yet again, it was the Milwaukee pitching staff that made the biggest difference in the NLDS, as it struck out 30 batters and gave up two earned runs, both of which were conceded by Jeremy Jeffress.The Dodgers Larry Bowa Jersey
, who are back in the NLCS for the third consecutive season, faced more of a challenge from the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS, but they overpowered the NL East champion with their bats in Game 4.The key for the Dodgers will be to keep the Brewers' lineup off balance in the first two games in order to steal a game on the road.Hyun-Jin Ryu and Clayton Kershaw combined for 15 scoreless innings in the first two games of the NLDS, but both of those contests were at Dodger Stadium.While the Dodgers appear to have the advantage in the rotation, the Brewers hold the edge in the bullpen thanks to the crew led by Josh Hader.No matter who is on the mound for either team, they're going to have to silence a collection of in-form hitters.Even though the Dodgers possess home-run hitters like Manny Machado and Max Muncy up and down their lineup, they're going to have to do damage against Milwaukee's starters to thrive in the series.Hader and Co. will be too tough to deal with out of the Milwaukee bullpen, and with the Brewers holding a close lead in Games 1 and 2, they'll be to shut the door on the Dodgers and create momentum in a tight series.Boston over Houston in 7The last defending World Series champion to make it back to the championship series a year later was the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008 and 2009.Houston is attempting to break the decade-long curse, but it'll struggle to put away the Red Sox over the course of seven games.The pitching matchups alone are worth the price of admission, as Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Dallas Keuchel, Chris Sale, David Price and Rick Porcello will be on display.Tim Warner/Getty ImagesWhile the majority of those pitchers mentioned above are expected to thrive in some capacity, Price is the biggest question mark on both rosters.Price once again struggled in a starting role in Game 2 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees, and he might be better suited in a relief role if he fails to produce a quality start in the front end of the ALCS.How each lineup adjusts to the quality of starters could be the ultimate difference maker http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-jim-bunning-jersey
, as the series should be decided by small margins.Houston had the better statistics in the ALDS, as it hit .327 as a team with eight home runs, while Boston posted a .279 average with four home runs.Despite the difference from the ALDS, the Red Sox will wake their bats up, with Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi both improving from the seven combined hits they recorded against the Yankees.Benefiting from the home-field advantage at Fenway Park in the first two games will provide a boost to Boston's power hitters, who won't slow down when they get to Minute Maid Park.Of course, you could make the same argument about Houston's home-run hitters throughout the series.Since the margins will be so tight, the Red Sox and Astros will go the distance with Sale outlasting Verlander in a Game 7 that will go down as a classic.Follow Joe on Twitter, JTansey90.Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference. MILWAUKEE (AP) — Daniel Murphy sees no panic in his new Chicago Cubs teammates.The Cubs needed a win Wednesday night to avert a three-game sweep by division rival Milwaukee, and Murphy played a big role with three hits and a solo home run in Chicago’s 6-4 victory against the Brewers.Pedro Strop closed out a tense ninth inning as Chicago boosted its NL Central lead to four games over the second-place Brewers. Milwaukee is a half-game ahead of St. Louis for the top NL wild card.Jose Quintana (12-9) gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings, improving to 3-1 at Miller Park with the Cubs.Strop allowed a walk and a single to open the ninth but got the final three outs, striking out Curtis Granderson with two runners on to preserve the win.“It’s a young group with a veteran mindset,” said Murphy, who joined the Cubs in a trade with Washington on Aug. 21. “You lose a tough one (Monday) and they played really well yesterday. All you can do is come out and try to win this ballgame.”Granderson belted his first home run as a member of the Brewers in a pinch-hit role in the seventh, a two-run shot that cut Chicago’s lead to 6-4.After Travis Shaw walked and pinch-hitter Christian Yelich singled to start the ninth, the crowd of 37,427 was on its feet Jim Thome Jersey
, nearly equally divided between Brewers and Cubs fans. Eric Thames flied out before Strop got Lorenzo Cain to ground to third for a force play. Then a nasty slider on a 2-2 pitch struck out Granderson.“I thought he gained his composure nicely,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Strop. “He’s got 95 or 96 (mph) with that sink. The slider he got Granderson on, it’s good against righties and lefties.”Jhoulys Chacin (14-6) had tossed 16 consecutive scoreless innings against the Cubs this season before Murphy led off the fourth with an opposite-field homer into the Brewers’ left-field bullpen.“I was able to leverage the count in my favor and was able to look for something up in the zone,” Murphy said. “I didn’t think it was going to get out of the ballpark.”Javier Baez followed with a single and his aggressive baserunning helped the Cubs extend their lead. He raced for third on a single by Anthony Rizzo, and when Cain’s throw from center field sailed, Baez scored and Rizzo went to third on a second error by shortstop Orlando Arcia. Ben Zobrist doubled to score Rizzo and give the Cubs a 3-0 lead.A soft RBI single by Willson Contreras capped the four-run rally.Jonathan Scoop’s bad-hop single drove home a run in the bottom of the inning, and the Brewers loaded the bases with two outs. Quintana induced Arcia to hit a pop fly to shortstop to escape the jam.Zobrist drove in his second run in the fifth with a two-out single, but Rizzo was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second base.Kyle Schwarber belted his 25th homer into the second deck in right field in the sixth to make it 6-1.Quintana allowed a leadoff single to Jesus Aguilar and a double to Ryan Braun in the sixth, but the Brewers managed just one run on a groundout by Schoop.“It was his best fastball of the year,” Maddon said. “He primarily could have pitched with his fastball today — it was that good.”The Brewers and Cubs will meet again in a three-game series at Wrigley Field next week.“It was a fun series,” Granderson said. “It’s definitely something both teams can look at and say, all right, it’s going to be a fight to the end.”NOT MOVINGA funny moment came in the fourth after Baez singled. He never moved off the base while Chacin threw over to first twice.“They know I wanted to run,” Baez said. “Right before Rizzo stepped to the plate, I saw the catcher (Erik Kratz) and he wasn’t giving signs, so I knew (Chacin) was coming back (to first). Then after the first one, and he tried to act like he was giving signs. But I saw he was so fake about it http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-scott-kingery-jersey
, I just stayed there.”Baez scored moments later after Rizzo singled and Cain overthrew third base.TRAINER’S ROOMCubs: Schwarber injured his back and left the game after homering in the sixth. “Before he went up to hit he told me it was tight,” Maddon said. “But he may have taken his best swing of the year.” . RHP Brandon Morrow may be reaching the point of no return for the Cubs, and Maddon said he will have to use several relievers in the closer role the rest of the season. Morrow, who posted 22 saves as the closer before being injured, has been sidelined since July 18 with right biceps inflammation. He has yet to throw off a mound in his rehab. “We’d love to have him back, but even if he does come back, how do you utilize that?” Maddon said. “You just can’t push him two days in a row.”Brewers: Yelich was not in the starting lineup as the Brewers headed into the final stretch of the season. He singled as a pinch-hitter in the ninth to reach base in his 22nd straight game. “He needs a day off,” manager Craig Counsell said before the game. “Friday was a thought, but it just reached a point where it had to be today.” Yelich had not been out of the lineup since July 3.UP NEXTCubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (11-10, 3.77 ERA) will open a four-game series in Washington on Thursday night.Brewers: RHP Chase Anderson (9-7, 3.96 ERA) starts a three-game series against the Giants on Friday at Miller Park.